Port and Starboard only on Scilly. Left and Right has no meaning

Perhaps it is because we live on small islands that left and right have no meaning. You are always going to end up where you started within a survivable time frame no matter which way you turn.

I’m developing the hypothesis that this is why looking either way before crossing roads on Scilly is almost completely absent from the habits of locals and visitors alike.

Twenty minutes of scientific observations off duty, stood waiting in a queue for the papers outside Mumfords Newsagents this afternoon are bearing witness to my Nobel winning sociological revelation. Road v Pavement are abstract concepts and have no meaning to pedestrians. The curb and junctions here are evidently trivial boundaries as seemingly meaningless and unmanageable as any national frontier outside of North Korea. I observed the different driving strategies of motorists and cyclists negotiating this live equivalent of a Frogger video game. Applause goes to the patient drivers who accept this as a pleasant consequence of negotiating our roads here. Other more visibly stressed and condemnatory motorists might try considering this as a sort of poetry in motion while they go about their business. There are no jay walking laws here and I’m not the Green Cross Code Man so I don’t see it changing any time soon. After all, persons far greater than us have been conforming to the phenomenon of standing in the middle of the road for many decades.

(Lord Harold Wilson waiting outside the Coop before the era of selfies)

Sgt Colin TaylorLord Harold Wilson outside Coop


About Colin Taylor

Devon and Cornwall Police Officer
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